Message from Father Langan, June 18-19

June 18-19

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

     Long before there was a Bible or any compilation of the Sacred Scriptures of the New Testament there was and always has been, since the Last Supper, the Holy Eucharist.  Our Lord Jesus Christ ever fulfills His promise,” I will not leave you orphans.”  In other words: “I am with you until the end of time”.  Every time then that the Church has gathered, She has not only listened to and recalled the Words of the Lord but She has also celebrated His Presence in His Body and Blood, the Food of eternal life.

     As we celebrate this glorious Solemnity of Corpus Christi, we rise in gratitude for the most precious, and sadly least understood, gift that God has bestowed upon humanity.  To be absolutely clear and to the point the Most Holy Eucharist is the unbloody Sacrifice of our Savior upon the cross, the complete and total offering of the Son of God to the Father in order to reconcile humanity.  Because of the original sin of our first parents, there was a break in the intimacy that we had with our Heavenly Father.  Jesus our Savior repaired the rift caused by sin and continues to reconcile us in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the re-presentation of Calvary.  No greater love has this world known than the Sacrifice of the Son of God for the redemption of us all.  And it continues to this day at every Catholic and Orthodox altar.

     With today’s Solemnity the Church in the United States begins a year of Eucharistic renewal.  Sadly, so many Catholics have drifted away from the Sunday celebration of Mass no doubt because they do not believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist.  How is it possible that we ignore  the very words of Christ our Savior:  ” Do This in memory of Me”?  In the days ahead, we shall recall with great emphasis the Mystery that makes us one with God and with each other.  Let us devote ourselves to the renewal and greater appreciation of what God has given us in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

With Blessings,

Father Langan

Message from Father Langan, June 11 & 12

June 12, 2022

Dear Brothers and sisters in Christ,

One of the most heart whelming actions I notice as your pastor is when a mom or dad brings a toddler into Church and teaches their child   how to bless themselves.   This simple yet profound act of faith silently speaks volumes as to what we believe and how radical that belief is evidenced in our lives.  Invoking the Name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit is a declaration of the most fundamental tenets of our Christian Faith.  We have been enlightened by Christ and the Holy Spirit to peer into the very nature of God, i.e., God is a Family.  And we, being created in the image and likeness of God, are meant to imitate Who God is in our earthly, human lives.  This can only happen by grace.   And the first instance of grace comes to us at our Baptism.  In Baptism, the power of the Cross to redeem us and the Name of God to possess us, makes us the dwelling place of the Holy Trinity.  This beautiful gesture of teaching a child to bless themselves is an outward sign of the divine reality within each Baptized soul.

Certainly, the nature of God is beyond our comprehension.  Who among us has not tried to wrap our heads around the belief that God has no beginning and no end.  And if we have the blessed fortune to live with Him forever after our earthly sojourn we will have all eternity to ponder the things that now confound us.  In the meantime we must be ever grateful to God for revealing to us through His Son Jesus Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit, Who He is, One and yet Three Divine Persons in love with each other.  There is no better way then for us, His creatures to honor and glorify the Lord than to imitate our Maker.

We offer our congratulations and heartfelt best wishes to all of out recent graduates from  eighth grade, high school and college.  May their education and the virtues they have received in their Faith Formation prepare them for the next stages in their life’s journey.  May the Gospel be their North Star to guide them in all aspects of their lives.

A safe and restful summer to all.

With Blessings,

Father Langan

Message from Father Langan, June 4-5

June 4-5

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

     The Great 50 Days come to a close with the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.  Though the Easter Season of 2022 has ended, the enthusiasm of Christ’s Resurrection never ends.  The Apostles are energized with the Divine Gifts of the Spirit in order to make Christ known to the world.   And this movement of the Holy Spirit continues in our time and will continue until the end of the world.  The question arises:  “Who then is responsible for the continuation of this “fire” of the Holy Spirit?  The answer: We are!”  The celebration of Pentecost reminds us of our own personal Pentecost that occurred at our own Confirmation.  At that time we received the 7-fold Gifts:  Wisdom, Knowledge, Understanding, Council, Fortitude (Courage), Piety, and Fear of the Lord (Reverence).  It is an opportune time for us to review the use of these gifts in our lives.  If they have become stagnant or unused, we implore the Good lord to unleash them once again.  Who would not agree that these gifts are needed in the world today?  When so much of the world is in travail and sadness it needs faithful and practicing Christians to set it aright by virtuous living.

      Today at the 10:30 Mass 16 of our young parishioners will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.  They too will be recipients of the seven Gifts and it is our hope and prayer that they will be faithful witnesses of the Lord by the fervent practice of their Faith.  Let us support and encourage them by our prayers.

      And I draw your attention to the multi-year Eucharistic Revival initiated by the Bishops of our country.  Starting on The Solemnity of Corpus Christi, June 19, 2022 all dioceses and parishes will participate in drawing people into a greater understanding and appreciation of the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ.  Please note the announcement by our Bishop and we hope some will join in the diocesan celebration.  Of course we will have our own Eucharistic Procession following the 10:30 Mass on June 19th.  Our Blessed Lord has given Himself to us without reserve, may we give ourselves to Him in joyous return.

With Blessings,

Father Langan

Message from Father Langan

May 28-29

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

     We all have longings, even our Lord.  In today’s Gospel He offers the priestly prayer that expresses His longing for unity among His disciples and ultimately for the Church.  The greatest scandal among Christians today is the disunity based upon personal opinion and not on the  revealed Truth that comes to us from the Holy Spirit.  The Catholic Church is the guarantor of revealed Truth as Our Lord had entrusted to Peter and the Apostles.  That Truth has been safeguarded throughout the centuries and innumerable followers of Christ have died rather than compromise on the Truth as is evidenced in St. Stephen’s martyrdom in the First Reading.

   The evil one is relentless in trying to sow disunity and chaos.  Starting with Adam and Eve, on to Cain and Abel and throughout the history of humankind he never ceases to divide and those divisions wreck families, communities, nations, and civilizations.  Why do we let him have the upper hand?  It makes no sense, completely illogical.  Christ is the one Who first of all restores our unity with our Heavenly Father.  Just think of the Lord’s Prayer: Our (communal) Father, hallowed be Thy Name (how? by our living as brothers and sisters) Thy Kingdom come (not separate kingdoms-only one), Thy Will be done (not yours, mine, his or hers) on earth as it is in Heaven.  Throughout this prayer we pray “us” and “our”.  It should remind us how important unity is in the mind of God.

    Unity in Truth then is the very nature of what it means to be a disciple of Christ.  From the earliest days of the Church, it was necessary to correct those who had veered from the Truth with the longing to bring them back into the fold.  Just as in the rite of Baptism one is called to renounce satan and all his works and all his empty promises so too there needs to be sincere and honest repentance before one can be in union with the faithful.  There is no room for arrogant individualism in the Body of Christ.  As we contemplate the mystical and penultimate Priestly Prayer of Christ in the Upper Room let us pray for those who have gone astray to humbly return to the Lord and His eternal Truth, the Truth that sets them free.

     Our congratulations to the children who this week made their First Holy Communion.  May they grow daily in the love of God and reverence of His greatest gift to us in the Holy Eucharist.  And let us remember those who next Sunday, Pentecost Sunday, who will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.  May they mature as loyal disciples and faithful witnesses of Christ.

   As our Faith Formation program has come to an end for the summer, I would like to thank our very devoted and excellent catechists and director and assistants.   Their love and care for the children of the parish is absolutely essential in building up the faith in our area. May God bless them abundantly

    Following all our Masses we will be praying the Novena to the Holy Spirit.

WIth Blessings,

Father Langan

Help Wanted – Sacristan

Help Wanted – Sacristan who will be responsible for the preparation for the weekend Masses in St. John the Evangelist and St. Mary Magdalen.  The average  time commitment is 12 hours per weekend.  He/She must be a registered, practicing member of the parish; fully initiated member of the Catholic faith; understanding of the knowledge of the Catholic faith and liturgy.  Please contact the Parish Office if interested.

Ascension Thursday, May 26

This Thursday, May 26 is Ascension Thursday and it is a Holy Day of Obligation. Mass schedule is as follows:

Vigil (5/25) St. Mary Magdalen Church – 6:00 P.M.

7:25 A.M. St. Mary Magdalen Church

12:05 P.M. St. Mary Magdalen Church

5:30 P.M. St. Joseph Church, Rileyville

6:00 P.M. St. Bernard Church, Beach Lake

Message from Father Langan, May 21-22

May 21-22

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The days of Eastertide are coming to a close and this week we celebrate the return of our Lord to our Heavenly Father, the Solemnity of the Ascension (Thursday May 26th).   It is a Holy Day of Obligation so kindly refer to the Mass schedule.  The return of the Lord in glory was a bittersweet event in the lives of the Apostles and disciples but absolutely necessary if they were to mature in their faith and become instruments of God’s continued presence in the world.  Our Lord’s plan is to continue His saving work through the ministry of the Church, which has sole authority over the preaching of the Word and the celebration of the Sacraments.   This is how He remains with us today.

In today’s first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, we see how the Holy Spirit operates in the deliberation of the Apostles at the Church’s first Council in Jerusalem.  What began then and continues to our present time is the assurance of the Holy Spirit’s guidance, as the fathers of the Church must address issues that are pertinent in our time.  This does not mean that the Church follows the prevailing trends and fads of the time but rather instructs and guides the present age by the immutable Truth handed down by our Lord to the Apostles and their successors.  The Church therefore is the beacon of Light and Truth that the world must follow lest it bring on its own demise.

The shepherds of the Church realize that not all ascent to the teachings of the Faith.  We need only look to the Old Testament to see how the prophets constantly had to warn the people to turn back to God and live according to His Commandments.  The same is true today.  Therefore, we ask the Lord to give us courage to strengthen our resolve to employ the prophetic spirit we all share by virtue of our Baptism and Confirmation.  At the 10:30 Mass this Sunday our 7th grade Confirmation candidates will publicly declare their commitment to prepare diligently for the reception of the Sacrament next year at Pentecost.  May we assist them with our prayers and encouragement to be steadfast in their desire to receive the Seven-fold gifts of the Holy Spirit and live the Christian Faith to the fullest.

With Blessings,

Father Langan

Message from Father Langan, May 14-15

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As the Easter season swiftly moves forward to the Ascension (just 10 days away) we are once again transported to the Upper Room.  There the Mystery of the Holy Eucharist, the Sacrament of Eternal Life, begins, as well as the Holy Priesthood which continues sacramentally the saving work of our Redeemer.  Through these we receive the love of Christ Himself and therefore He gives the New Commandment: “Love one another as I have loved you”.  There is an inseparable bond between these three sacred words and actions of our Lord.  These are presented in the context of His Farewell Discourse.  He is preparing the disciples for His physical departure from them and so with all farewells there is the element of sadness and fear. 

No doubt the disciples wondered, “How will we get along without Him?”  In time they will come to realize that He is not really gone from their midst but rather present in a new way.  St. Luke’s account of the Acts of the Apostles is the story of our Lord’s presence now working through the preaching and acts of the Twelve and those who are empowered by them.  In a sense, the Acts of the Apostles continues to this day.  The work of Christ our Head proceeds in the Church until that day, as we see in the Book of Revelation; the New Jerusalem unites Heaven and Earth.

With great joy we will be celebrating that particular love of Christ with His little lambs who will be receiving their First Holy Communion this coming Saturday, May 21st at St John’s, and also those 8th graders who will be filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday, June 5th.   Please remember them in your prayers as they make their final preparations for these most important days in their lives.

Let the Easter Alleluias ring out to God!

With Blessings,

Father Langan

Message from Father Langan – May 7-8

May 7-8

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today is Good Shepherd Sunday.  Our Lord described Himself as the good Shepherd Who has laid down His life for His sheep.  For the early followers of Christ this was their favorite image as catacomb paintings show.  Each of us is the sheep, wounded and lost, but picked up and carried on the shoulders of the Lord.  The tender mercy that comes from the Good Shepherd extends not only to our waywardness but also He gives us the sustenance we need to journey through life, most especially in the Holy Eucharist.  Though I rarely go on Facebook,  and only to view our streaming of Masses, I frequently see the posting “no priests no Eucharist”  How true it is!  As we contemplate Jesus as the Good Shepherd we remember what He said,” …the harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the Master to send out laborers for his harvest” (Lk 10:2).

Today is also World Day of Prayer for Vocations especially to the Priesthood.  Our Lord wants above all to continue through His priests His saving presence and blessed assurance that He has not abandoned the flock.  As in all things with Our Lord, He asks for our cooperation.  The flock, therefore, has to ask the Master to raise up from our midst those men who will dedicate themselves to continuing the mission of Christ for the salvation of souls.  Proposing, encouraging and praying for young men to be courageous in answering the Call is the duty of all faithful Catholics.  Not all will respond enthusiastically but seeds will be sown and God will do the reaping as long as we cooperate.

Priests do not fall from trees, though some may think we do.  Their vocations are fostered for the most part within the beauty of family life.  It is there that a possible vocation germinates.  Faith, mutual respect, self-sacrificing service to each member are the necessary attributes for a vocation to priesthood to take root.  A father teaches a son how to be a man in a world that has become so terribly confused and mixed-up.  A mother demonstrates how to be caring and tender and how very grateful we are to our mother’s as we especially honor them on this day.

Pope St Pius the X (1835-1914) recalls the importance of his mother in his vocation.  He was a very humble man who had a saintly mother, Margarita Sanson.  Because they were so poor, she worked as a washer woman and a school janitor to earn enough money so her son could go to seminary. When he was installed as Pope, his mother was present, and as was the custom, she kissed his large papal ring.  She then presents her tiny hand with her wedding ring and said, “Now you kiss my ring–for without it, you never would have received yours!”

Thank you mothers, a blessed day to all!

Father Langan